Individual Versus Employor / DOT Government Drug Testing And Confidentiality

Topic 14964 | Page 1

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Bulwinkle J. Moose's Comment
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If a person undertakes a drug test of their own free will and the test is not a mandated employee or government required drug test are the results absolutely confidential and only shared with the individual?

Can anyone reference specific government regulations, case law or legal documents provided by a lab to substantiate the confidentiality of the test?

Do confidentiality laws concerning the results of an individual sponsored drug test vary from state to state or are they federally mandated?

What role does HIPPA regulations play in someone seeking to know the results of an individuality sponsored drug test?

Are there any walk in ( not internet ) clinics that don't require any personal information for testing where you are just a number and not a name?

How do you know that the test is really accurate? Should you be tested several times?

If someone truly turned their life around and wanted a career in the trucking industry they need to know without a doubt the results of a drug test before being ruined. Trying to estimate the waiting period before going in for a mandated test in my opinion is a slippery slope to be standing on.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

Those are all excellent questions, most of which I do not know the answers to I'm afraid. But I believe we'll figure out that information and add it to the website very soon. I'm sure someone out there can answer some of them for you so stay tuned.

Trying to estimate the waiting period before going in for a mandated test in my opinion is a slippery slope to be standing on.

Trying to cut it close is risky. But if you wait 6 - 12 months you're almost certainly going to be clean at that point. But I totally agree with your premise of testing yourself anonymously to be certain. It's the best strategy if you can pull it off. But you really have to be certain it's anonymous and I'd be clean a minimum of 6 months first.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Bill F.'s Comment
member avatar

There are many drug screen tests where you can fill the sample in your own home (or anywhere really), mail it in, and call in for your results. All anonymously. You don't have to provide any ID type information. They use a secret number included in the kit (available at Walmart, etc...) when you call in so you can remain anonymous. Now you can debate how secret this really is does Walmart track these purchases when checking out on camera and so on. But if you pay in cash you should be OK. You can even call in from a pay phone (do those still exist). You can even call a legitimate drug testing lab and ask if they allow anonymous testing, but don't use your smart phone.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Rick S.'s Comment
member avatar

My understanding here, as to the motivation for this question - is that you have gotten cleaned up recently - and want to make sure that you can pass any pre-employment DOT screen before subjecting yourself to one.

The testing you really want to concern yourself with - is the HAIR FOLLICLE type of testing.

A lot depends on WHAT you were using, and how much/often you were using it.

So if you were smoking a 1/4 oz of medical grade weed a day (oregon, colorado, etc., legal weed) for months and months - you are going to be looking at quite awhile before you test clean (upwards of 6 months).

I would be reluctant to use my primary care physician for any test of this nature - as we've heard of companies requesting entire medical records.

A walk-in clinic would be best - assuming they offer this kind of "outside testing", as hair follicle drug tests are rarely done in-house at these type of establishments.

Any results WOULD BE CONFIDENTIAL, and as long as you don't list them as your "medical provider" on any company paperwork, there's never going to be a records request made of them.

The DOT med form asks:

31. Have you used an illegal substance within the past two years? 32. Have you ever failed a drug test or been dependent on an illegal substance?

These are kind of ambiguous questions. If you smoked weed in Oregon - the answer to 31 could honestly be NO. And a test that was not instigated by an employer (or pre-employment drug screen) would likely never be reported to FMCSA.

We're kind of overthinking/over-paranoid at this point though.

A self-paid test is YOUR TEST. There are even a number of walk-in LABS (down here at least) that you can get ANY TEST you want, as long as you're willing to pay for it.

Confirm Biosciences sells an at home hair screening test.

But again - and not to pry - what were you using, how much, how often?

Rick

CSA:

Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA)

The CSA is a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) initiative to improve large truck and bus safety and ultimately reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities that are related to commercial motor vehicle

FMCSA:

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

The FMCSA was established within the Department of Transportation on January 1, 2000. Their primary mission is to prevent commercial motor vehicle-related fatalities and injuries.

What Does The FMCSA Do?

  • Commercial Drivers' Licenses
  • Data and Analysis
  • Regulatory Compliance and Enforcement
  • Research and Technology
  • Safety Assistance
  • Support and Information Sharing

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

Fm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.
Chris K.'s Comment
member avatar

They sell tests at cvs and Walgreens. To at least give you an idea. I wouldn't put a lot of faith in them.

Truckin Along With Kearse's Comment
member avatar

HIPAA not hippa. Health Information Portability and Accountability Act.

I was HIPAA certified in 2007 while I worked for the postal union. Basically it says you must sign a release for any medical records.. tests.. notes... documents. ..or you can sue the doctor or institution that shared your info. If you leave your cell phone at a doctor's office.. and someone calls the phone... the doctor office cannot even tell the caller "she left her phone in my office" because that is confirming you are a patient. Orthodontists that had pics of teenagers teeth before and after braces had to remove the pic from all walls or get consent from parents. It is a very strict law.

A doctor who writes you an excuse note from work can ask you to sign the release to protect himself from a complaint by you.

With that said... I'm guessing not much has changed because prime had us sign releases so their doctors could drug test and give us physicals. I had to sign another release for the sleep apnea people to give the results to prime.

Therefore my educated guess on the subject would be that any voluntary... non employment test you do for your own information would not be placed in any type of database. Employment is different because you waive your right to patient doctor privilege in exchange for a job position.

If it is not court mandated... law enforcement mandated... or employer mandated... I don't see how the records could be shared. STDresults are shared due to the public health risk.

Sleep Apnea:

A physical disorder in which you have pauses in your breathing, or take shallow breaths, during sleep. These pauses can last anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes. Normal breathing will usually resume, sometimes with a loud choking sound or snort.

In obstructive sleep apnea, your airways become blocked or collapse during sleep, causing the pauses and shallow breathing.

It is a chronic condition that will require ongoing management. It affects about 18 million people in the U.S.

Rick S.'s Comment
member avatar

HIPAA not hippa. Health Information Portability and Accountability Act.

I was HIPAA certified in 2007 while I worked for the postal union. Basically it says you must sign a release for any medical records.. tests.. notes... documents. ..or you can sue the doctor or institution that shared your info. If you leave your cell phone at a doctor's office.. and someone calls the phone... the doctor office cannot even tell the caller "she left her phone in my office" because that is confirming you are a patient. Orthodontists that had pics of teenagers teeth before and after braces had to remove the pic from all walls or get consent from parents. It is a very strict law.

A doctor who writes you an excuse note from work can ask you to sign the release to protect himself from a complaint by you.

With that said... I'm guessing not much has changed because prime had us sign releases so their doctors could drug test and give us physicals. I had to sign another release for the sleep apnea people to give the results to prime.

Therefore my educated guess on the subject would be that any voluntary... non employment test you do for your own information would not be placed in any type of database. Employment is different because you waive your right to patient doctor privilege in exchange for a job position.

If it is not court mandated... law enforcement mandated... or employer mandated... I don't see how the records could be shared. STDresults are shared due to the public health risk.

And these are shared anonymously. You might get a letter or call - but they will not tell you who your contact was with.

Don't ask how I know (sheepish grin).

Alright - an ex-wife of mind (28 years ago) and I went down to get tested when we decided to live together. Turns out she had something she had been walking around with for years. Nurse informed me I was reported as a contact (I was already getting tested).

Ahhhh, the 80's - when sex was safe and motorcycles were dangerous.

Again - if you get your PRIMARY to test you - you may be faced with having to sign a release for you medical records for the company.

If you just do a "one-off" at a clinic - this will never show up, and you can do a "don't ask/don't tell" as far as that is concerned.

And again - how long anything shows up, depends on how much you were doing, and how often.

I just had a hospitalization, where I was on morphine, dilaudid and vicodin. I was off everything pretty quickly - but the vicodin will probably show up on a hair test, out for 4-6 months.

Rick

Sleep Apnea:

A physical disorder in which you have pauses in your breathing, or take shallow breaths, during sleep. These pauses can last anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes. Normal breathing will usually resume, sometimes with a loud choking sound or snort.

In obstructive sleep apnea, your airways become blocked or collapse during sleep, causing the pauses and shallow breathing.

It is a chronic condition that will require ongoing management. It affects about 18 million people in the U.S.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Bulwinkle J. Moose's Comment
member avatar

Thanks to everyone for all the replies, keep them coming! I will followup in subsequent posts on my personal experiences concerning this topic and hope to publish an actual confidentiality agreement from an accredited testing lab as well as my results. Legal statutes concerning drug test confidentiality either state or federal that can be used as a reference tool would be of great value to the forum.

As always I find the personal experiences of people very interesting reading regardless of the topic they talk about. In my circumstance I have not smoked any Cannabis for a month now. Previous to that I consumed 1/2 ounce of medical grade marijuana in a 2 month period. Before that I did not consume anything for about 4 months. Before the 4 month period of abstinence I was consuming about 1/4 ounce per week for many years. I'm about 5' 10'' tall 155lbs fairly active. No doubt at this point I'd fail a hair follicle test. School is still 3 months away so I hope to be able to pass urinalysis at that point and be able to start at a company that doesn't do hair testing. I am committed to putting this issue behind me in order to become the best driver possible.

People are sometimes hindered by what they have done in the past that keeps them from starting a new and promising career. They lose hope for a better life which is not good. I'm a strong believer in second chances for those who are honest about turning their lives around. People need to learn the value of forgiveness. If your past concerns using drugs like me you need firm ground on which to stand to make intelligent and informed choices about drug testing so you can begin driving as soon as possible without any risk of retribution.

Don't use this topic as a recipe on how to beat the system. You need to put drug abuse ( including alcohol) in your rear view mirror and drive on if you're going to be a safe top tier driver. Relapses happen. Dust yourself off and keep moving forward. Don't be afraid to seek help if you need it especially from a higher power if you are so inclined. We are after all only human.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Tractor Man's Comment
member avatar

Great response Bullwinkle! It sounds like you have a great attitude and take responsibility for your past. I certainly have had issues in the past, that once I decided to own them, rather than blame others, my life really came together and was able to move forward. You will do just fine in this Crazy A$$ business, and in life with your attitude of personal responsibility. God Bless and keep comin' back!

Bulwinkle J. Moose's Comment
member avatar

Hey tractor man thanks for the vote of confidence. Your post about team driving with your mentor was interesting and very informative. Glad you're teamed up with someone that's compatible with you. Good luck on the final leg of your training!

Nice photo of the John Deere. My kin are all from the corn belt of downstate IL. Grand pa worked at a John Deere dealership for years. Blew out his hearing which was a drag. I can still hear the rap of those old John Deeres in my head and the smell of axle fluid in my nose, hahaha

Question for Rick S. on the DOT med form question #31. Have you used an illegal substance within the past two years? I would have to answer yes to this question. Will this disqualify me from getting a CDL?

On question #32 I can truthfully answer no.

I can understand that a lot future employers will pass me over because of the answer to question # 31. I do need to be honest about my background

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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